I have always loved animals. As a child, I loved visiting zoos and aquariums and seeing any sort of animal in the wild was always a big thrill. One of the few perks of our family camping trips was the chance to see animals like deer, ground squirrels, elk and even bison and bears on a memorable trip to Yellowstone National Park. So, one of the things I’d like to do as a parent is give my kids the chance to see some amazing animals in their natural environments. I don’t know if we’ll get to all of these, but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming.
1) Polar Bears
We’ve all heard the statistics; the habitat of polar bears is threatened and no one knows what the future holds for the species. Fortunately for Canadians, the best place to see these amazing creatures is right in our own country in Churchill, Manitoba. Unfortunately, it still costs a lot of money to get there and stay there, especially during the peak viewing season. Still, the chance to view a wild creature that can weigh over 1000 pounds and stand over 10 feet tall on it’s hind legs would be pretty amazing. (Ever seen a cow up close? Imaging an animal that size with giant, sharp teeth and claws that could kill you as easily as swatting a fly).
2) Sea Turtles Hatching
I’ve always been enamoured with sea turtles; the fact that something that is so cumbersome on land can be so elegant in the water. I would love to go to a beach where you can watch the newly hatched baby sea turtles as they scramble towards the water. Of course it would have to be part of a guided tour of some kind that insured that turtle watchers didn’t threaten the new hatchlings in any way. Unlike polar bears, there are multiple places around the world where sea turtle nest, including Hawaii, Costa Rica, Australia, the West Indies , Mexico and even parts of the United States. It’s just a matter of matching the right place with the right time. And maybe waiting until the kids are old enough to be okay with the whole “circle of life” aspect of it.
3) Big Five Safari
As I’ve mentioned in previous Africa posts, I would love to give my kids the experience of a real African safari. There’s nothing that can compare to your first glimpse of an elephant, rhino or big cat in the wild. The only downside with this plan is that they will probably never be satisfied with zoos again.
4) Wild Ponies on Assateague Island
Did I mention that I also went through a horse crazy phase when I was young? One of the many books I loved was the classic, Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. I would love the chance to visit the area and see the ponies in the wild. And we wouldn’t even have to travel overseas to get there.
5) Penguin Colonies in Antartica
Yes, this one could take a while before we could pull it off. May not actually happen. But what kid wouldn’t want to see penguins?
Numbers 6-10 coming soon!